One of Chattanooga's most visible and iconic hotels of the past half century is getting a new look and use.
The former King's Lodge, which was built on the side of Missionary Ridge in 1970 only four years after the Ridge cut opened up Interstate 24 through Chattanooga, is being converted to a 138-unit apartment complex, known as the View at Mission Ridge.
The former hotel, which was acquired by Vic Desai of ViaNova Development over the past couple of years, had deteriorated over the years. As an extended care hotel and low-income apartment complex in recent years, police were frequently called to the King's Lodge.
"This extended stay motel had turned into a makeshift apartment complex that was really run down," said Heather Everett, property manager for ViaNova Development. "It was basically ready to be condemned. It was sitting on such a terrific location, though."
The new owners see a new future for the ridgeside facility. So far, 28 of the former hotel rooms have been renovated and turned into one-bedroom apartments. The 625-square-foot units now rent for $800-$850 a month.
"The rent is affordable for young professionals and for students, and it's close to major employers and schools without being right in the middle of the traffic," Everett said.
The owners are beginning work on renovating more of the hotel rooms, some of which will be converted to studio apartments and some as two-bedroom units, to complete in the next year, Everett said.
"We're all about the view, and every single apartment features a mesmerizing view of downtown, Lookout Mountain, and Signal Mountain," Everett said. "It's beautiful all day long, but it's absolutely breathtaking at sunset."
Within the next 12 months, an outdoor pool and clubhouse will open on the property as well as a fitness facility.
The View at Mission Ridge is the third apartment complex Vic Desai's group has developed in Chattanooga. The 48-unit Arbor Hill Apartments on Highway 58 was renovated three years ago and the Clemons Building downtown was converted into a 54-unit apartment complex that opened in early 2016.
ViaNova Development also is working on projects in Shreveport, La., Omaha, Neb., and St. Louis, all of which are located in historic downtown buildings.
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6340.